Monday, July 5, 2010
Logo logic, sales sorrows, and capitalist conversions
After I got done with the new flatbed for the pick-'em-up truck, I suggested to Aimee that she put the official Womerlippi Farm logo on it. She agreed to do so, made a stencil out of copy paper taped together, copied the logo from the screen she uses to make our T-shirts, got to work with her paint pots and brushes, and now we have a very cool liveried truck.
I do think it's rather smart, actually. Pretty chuffed with the outcome, actually.
Yesterday Haggis and I took the newly liveried truck down to town for gas and got caught up in the Independence Day parade traffic. I think a lot of people thought we were in the parade.
(He is rather a handsome dog.)
Not that we need the advertisement. Our products seem to sell themselves. We always seem to clean out of eggs and pigs and lambs with little difficulty. Probably because the price is right. We charge competitive prices. Eggs are $1.50 and our pigs last year went averaged $1.71 dressed. Fat lambs at weaning go for $50.
These prices are probably just over our break-even points, counting labor. When I calculated the pigs' costs I put in the labor at minimum wage.
Aimee also sometimes gives eggs away, and plant starts, and surplus veggies in season, usually to coworkers at Unity College. This is another family tradition. Before we started selling the pigs we gave away pork chops too. It was fun for us to grow the food, so we didn't much care about the money.
Our old joke used to be, when people wanted to pay us for the food we were giving away, that we aimed to "destabilize the capitalist system" and so couldn't possibly take any money.
What was funny was how some people couldn't see the joke, which is really a wry Zen koan, in that. I think some more conservative, or unimaginative, types were really worried that we had found a way to destabilize capitalism.
By giving away free food!
These days we do try to get a fair price for most things and we no longer give away pork chops.
Fleece is another matter, though. I could give that away, no worries. We have a lot of raw fleece right now and no obvious market. I expect we'll finish up taking it to the mill again and part-exchanging it for yarn.
The yarn we can sell. But it costs us about $4 a skein to get even in part exchange (we can sell it for $7 easily enough), and we don't have that kind of spare moolah right now, not with my mum still being sick and an expensive air-fare away. We would probably need to buy a hundred or more skeins in one go, given the amount of raw fleece we have to trade. That's about a third of a short-notice transatlantic air fare.
That sales project will have to wait, this year. We'll concentrate on the pigs and eggs. We only had two lambs to sell, and they're already gone.
Maybe giving away free food was catching or something, but we now have several acres of fresh veggies growing for the local food pantry through the new Veggies for All program at our college.
Destabilizing the capitalist system where it really hurts: feeding hungry people.
Very proud of this program, am I.
Sometimes I wonder about all the so-called Christian folks in this country who would rather see some people go hungry, in order to keep alive their idea of what a capitalist country looks like.
Have they ever really read the New Testament?
Here's our idea of what a productive land use system looks like. And yes, those tomato plants are four feet high already, and just starting to bear fruit. Last year, with the late blight, tomatoes were fairly scarce. This is a great improvement.
Looks like I will be canning again this year.